As a director of a function or department it is still possible to achieve passable performance without having mastered the art and science of delegation.
For many, their appointment as director is a recognition of technical prowess in their field. Whether you are the most experienced engineer as Development Director, the most skilled negotiator as Procurement Director, or the best deal closer as Sales Director, what you actually are is Master Technician. You have reached the top of the silo.
It’s been a few years now, and you are a trusted director with a good track record when suddenly, the MD moves on – and it’s your turn.
You know the company inside out, or you thought you did. You know your colleagues well, or you thought you did. You know what the business needs, or you thought you did. It’s funny how a change of position leads to a change of perspective.
In your old job you were master of everything, but suddenly, your “everything” just got ten times bigger.
For the new MDs I’ve coached, it has always been mastering delegation that has brought both them and their subordinates the most satisfaction. Delegation mastery has three components: the rules of the game; the tools and techniques; and the people skills. You only have to conduct 360 degree appraisals to understand that good subordinates want accountability, they want timely follow up – how else do they demonstrate to themselves and others that they are doing a good job?
You’ll know you’ve mastered delegation when you have the time to properly consider the strategic elements of your new job.